Justin Levesque

Equinox Staff

These last weeks of the semester comprise a phase of student life which goes by a variety of names. Perhaps most appropriate is “crunchtime,” denoting a period that breeds severely out-of-wack ratios of academic demand to available hours in the day. Readers with exceptionally long memories may recall that I’ve already touched upon the malaise-inducing after-effects of spring break; speaking as one whose motivation had hit rock bottom even before being administered said dosage of [expletive]-it-all-it is, I can say that my laziness is reaching new heights of absurdity as the weather gradually improves and summer draws ever closer.

It’s enough to make you pine for some kind of miracle cure, a good old-fashioned shot in the arm to chase away those late-term blues (no, not that kind of shot; that’s never done much good for anyone except maybe Lou Reed, and he’s starting to bear an uncanny resemblance to a sack of wrinkly assholes nowadays, not that I have much room to talk). Frankly, I think a good number of us are sick of scrambling to slap together one assignment only to move on to another, pulling hazy, Amp-fueled all-nighters even after meticulous planning designed to avert just such undesirable situations – in short, we’re tired of losing.

The upshot of all this? There is a remedy, friends, and if you receive even a modicum of exposure to any kind of media outlet whatsoever you’re already aware of it. Yes, dear reader, I have seen the light and it goes by the name of Charlie Sheen. The Word of the Winner is thoroughly engrained into my psyche, informing every move I make. I got tiger blood, man, and so can you. Slapping together a 15-pager mere hours before class comes second nature now that I’m banging seven-gram rocks on a habitual basis; to quote the mantra of the messiah, “I got one speed, one gear – GO! Duh, winning!”

Some may contend that the inordinate amount of media attention being lavished upon Mr. Sheen betrays a cultural obsession with the sensational and the vapid, a kind of schadenfreude-derived escapism from one’s own problems in witnessing a falling star. To take such a troll-ish position is to underestimate the true import of the nuggets of effortless profundity being dispensed by Mr. Sheen. Where else may one find all the deranged, diseased hypercompetitive imperative of our society – the drive to “get ahead” at any cost, no matter how much damage is done to others and/or oneself – wrapped into one fantastically sickly, deliciously manic ball of crazy?

In all seriousness, the man clearly does need help. The incredibly entertaining nature of his psychosis is proving to be a double-edged sword, masking what seems to be genuine mental/emotional collapse (provided he’s not pulling a Joaquin Phoenix, but his history strongly suggests otherwise). Exacerbating the issue is his awareness of this perverse appeal and marked willingness to exploit it. I will admit to feeling a twinge of morbid curiosity upon learning that he’d be taking his freakshow to Boston – sold out, alas.

Indeed, the mind-boggling success of Sheen’s little tour is enough to spur serious re-evaluation of our cultural sanity. Sure, my earlier promotion of his greatest hits indicates that I’ve taken no small amusement from his antics myself – I’m sorely tempted to place “bi-winning” under my list of medical conditions, and the self-veneration of his partying practices as making “Sinatra, Jagger, Richards… look like droopy-eyed, armless children” nearly caused me to spray my drink. At a certain point, however, you’ve got to question how much is too much. Getting a giggle or two from the pure absurdity of repeated proclamations that someone is “winning” when they’re plainly falling apart at the seams is all well and good, but deliberately providing fuel for his insanity by paying to watch him unravel crosses into decidedly sketchy territory.

When all is said and done, however, and after I’ve spilled god knows how much ink on the issue, we are talking about the plight of a single man, one who could easily attain professional assistance if he cared to. At any rate, media focus on Sheen appears to be dwindling in light of grave occurrences in Japan and Libya, i.e. shit that actually matters and affects a wide range of non-spoiled celebrities. These things go in cycles, however, and as soon as there’s a slow news day we will inevitably find ourselves inundated with the painfully minute, super-sensationalized details of some pseudo-crisis or another. If nothing else, at least Sheen left us with some classic quips.


Justin Levesque can be contacted at jlevesque@keeneequinox.com

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